Examining the 2007 Redenomination of the Ghanaian Cedi on the Disinflation Process Using the Chow Structural Break Test and VAR Open Access
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Ghana has experienced high and variable rates of inflation over the past 40 years. While this is no longer the case, inflation remains stubbornly elevated relative to economies of similar size (Magnus & Fosa, 2011). Conventional disinflation policies involve countercyclical monetary policies, reducing fiscal expenditure, and comprehensive economic and political reform. These policies in turn can be bolstered by a currency redenomination; when the nominal value of all prices is reduced. A number of countries such as, Turkey (in 2005), Romania (in 2005), Belarus (in 2006 and 2016) have pursued this strategy, including Ghana (in 2007). The question of whether currency redenomination is an effective qualitative tool in the disinflation process is important because of its potential as an important tool for countries struggling with high and variable rates of inflation. Unfortunately, existing literature has been deficient, and no appropriate techniques have been employed to examine this question. Thus, the goal of this paper is to examine the impact of the Ghanaian currency redenomination in 2007 on the disinflation process using appropriate statistical techniques; the Chow Test and Vector Autoregression (VAR), then evaluate whether it may be an effective policy option for monetary authorities. This paper employed monthly time series data from January 2000 to September 2017 provided by the Bank of Ghana. The results gathered in this paper showed that the Chow Test found a structural break before and after the date of redenomination. However, the bifurcated vector autoregression VAR(3) was inconclusive as to whether the policy itself directly affected the disinflation process. These results suggest that further research is needed to evaluate the potential of currency redenomination as a qualitative tool in the disinflation process. Originality/value – This paper is one of few studies which has investigated the impact of currency redenomination, especially in Africa and Ghana specifically.